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Auto blogFri, 26 Oct 2012 18:31:00 EST
In case you didn't know, Volkswagen is hell-bent on becoming the largest automaker in the world. The German carmaker has inched closer to that goal, having outsold General Motors in China last quarter for the first time in eight years.
Volkswagen's sales in China, its largest marker, increased by 21 percent last quarter to 704,991 units. Those numbers almost tripled GM's third-quarter growth, and were enough to beat out the American automaker's 664,765 sales. GM, however, still leads in year-to-date sales in China by a slim margin of around 77,000 units. The Asian nation also happens to be GM's largest market, and according to the report in Automotive News, China's car market may grow to be larger than the US, Japan and Germany combined in three years' time.
About the news his company was bested in China by VW last quarter, GM CEO Dan Akerson is quoted saying, "It's not whether you're the biggest car manufacturer. It's whether you want to be the most profitable." It should be noted of these figures that GM includes truck figures, yet excludes Hong Kong and Macau from its Chinese sales numbers, while VW does just the opposite. Through September of this year, Volkswagen had 5 of the 10 best selling vehicles in China. GM boasted three of the cars on that list.
Volkswagen is recalling about 1.1 million vehicles in China and North America in a newly announced campaign affecting the rear suspensions on some models. For the US, the action covers about 442,265 vehicles, including 400,602 examples of its 2011-2013 Jetta and 41,663 units of the 2012-2013 Beetle and Beetle Convertible. According to Reuters, the recall affects a further 126,000 vehicles in Canada and about 581,090 in China, including related market-specific models like the Sagitar.
The problem can occur if the affected models have a collision to the rear or the side-rear of the vehicle. It's then possible for the trailing arms on the torsion-beam rear suspension to be damaged. If the harm isn't noticed, then the part could fracture while driving. Obviously, a broken rear suspension is going to have an adverse effect on handling.
To fix things, VW dealers will inspect the trailing arms on the models, and they will all receive a sheetmetal part that will make a distinctive sound if broken in the future. If already damaged, the entire torsion beam will be replaced. Obviously, this work will be done at no charge to owners.
The 2014 Volkswagen Golf GTD has officially bowed at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. Engineers managed to squeeze an additional 14 horsepower and 22 pound-feet of torque out of the familiar 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder engine, nudging total output to 184 hp and 280 lb-ft for 2014. The figures are good enough to earn the GTD the honor of being the most powerful diesel Golf in Volkswagen history. A start/stop system helps improve efficiency over the previous generation with the new model consuming 56 miles per gallon on the EU cycle. That's up from the 2013 model's 46 mpg. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, though a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox is also available.
The GTD also offers buyers a few aesthetic tweaks to help separate the hatch from its less potent siblings. Those include a more aggressive front fascia, special badges and 17-inch alloy wheels. Expect to find the GTD in one of three exterior colors, including Tornado Red, Black and Pure White. Check out the quick press release below for more details.